Ok... I know I'm a bit mushroom crazy this week but I can't help to share those lovely fungi with foodie friends! When you got the chance to buy them at half-price and with extra added to the box, the temptation's to great to be missed... :-D
One of my favourite mushrooms is definitely Shiitake, either fresh or dried. It's a must-have ingredients in Asian cooking mainly in Chines
e and Japanese kitchens. You can cook them just like fresh ones and still maintained its shapes. Another good reason to have dried Shiitake at hand is to make stock with the liquid after soaking the dried mushrooms. I like to add some of it and the strained liquid as well in mushroom soup - just a bit will do to give that pungent mushroomy flavour.
A interesting remark from my Japanese friend is that they preferred dried shiitake better than fresh ones. In Japan it's very expensive compared to fresh Shiitake. Dried Shiitake has more concentrated and superior flavour. I totally agreed with them!
Have a try on dehydrated mushrooms snacks that comes in plain/natural flavour or with wasabi added. It's sooooo yummy!
Shiitake No Nimono
6-8 Large Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
375 ml Dashi II or Konbu Dashi II (recipes below)
2 Tbl Mirin
2 Tbl Sake
2 Tbl Japanese Soya Sauce
1 Tbl Dark Brown Sugar
1. Soak shiitake mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain well. Discard the stems.
2. Combine the dashi, mirin, sake, soya sauce and sugar in a small pan over high heat. Stir the mixture until sugar has dissolved. Bring to boil.
3. Add the shiitake. Bring it to boil again and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 1 hour or until the liquid almost evaporated.
4. Serve warm or at room temperature as side dish, part of multicourse, snack or over rice. You can use it in cawan mushi or with noodles - slice thinly or quartered.
Serves 4-6 portions.
Note: I usually reserved the liquid after soaking shiitake. You can use it for this dish to get that rich concentrated flavour which I did or add into your favourite mushroom soup recipes. Just remember to filter/sieve the liquid.
: Making of Dashi Stocks :
For Dashi II
10 cm (4 in) square of konbu
20 g (1 cup) katsuoboshi (bonito flakes)
1. Wipe konbu with a damp cloth but don't rub off the white powdery substance that will become obvious as it dries. Cut the konbu into strips.
2. Place konbu & 1.5 L (6 cups) cold water into a saucepan and slowly bring it to boil. Quickly add 60 ml (1/4 cup) cold water to stop the boiling process. Add the bonito flakes. Allow it to boil again and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Allow the bonito flakes to sink to the bottom of pan. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve. This stock is ready for stews and thick soups.
Makes 1 L (about 4 cups)
For Konbu Dashi
15 cm (6 in) square piece of konbu
1. For Konbu Dashi I, cut konbu into strips and place them in a saucepan with 1.5 L cold water. Bring to boil, then remove the konbu.
2. For Konbu Dashi II, leave the konbu in the pan, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes longer.
Makes about 1.5 L (5 cups)